Monday, October 05, 2015

PM welcomes European Union decision to lift fishers' yellow card

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has welcomed the European Union's lifting the 'yellow card' warning on Papua New Guinea's tuna exports.
Speaking after the EU announced the change, O'Neill said the Government would continue to work with the fisheries sector to improve monitoring and enforcement.
"Illegal fishing and not reporting full catch amounts costs the people of Pacific island nations an enormous amount of money and undermines the sustainability of fish stocks," he said.
"Papua New Guinea is committed to ensuring we have full control of our fisheries and fighting those who would seek to illegally exploit our resources.
"Our fisheries sector has to last generations into the future and through coordinated monitoring and planning this will be the case."
O'Neill said coordination between Papua New Guinea's security agencies and industry stakeholders would continue to improve monitoring and enforcement.
"The European Union recognises the effort that is being made in Papua New Guinea to prevent the illegal removal of fish stocks and we will continue to strengthen these measures.
"We appreciate the concern that the European Union has for ensuring the sustainability of fish stocks, not only in Papua New Guinea but around the world.
"Global demand for fisheries products will only continue to rise in the coming years, so now is the time to be proactive and ensure monitoring and enforcement."
O'Neill said Pacific Islands Forum Leaders had continued to place a priority on ensuring proper management of marine resources, and this was reaffirmed at the recent Forum meeting in Port Moresby that he chaired.
"Forum Leaders have tasked fisheries, economic and foreign Ministers to undertake a joint comprehensive evaluation of systems currently in place.  This includes regional monitoring, control and surveillance, and compliance regimes, and to report back on their findings in 2016." 
O'Neill said the report would pay special attention to the use of modern information and communications technologies that can be deployed for fisheries surveillance.

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